No Babies/Children Rule Weddings? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-21-2009, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry for the intrusion to the forum as I do not have a baby myself however one of my ushers does and it is causing some extreme friction!

The story is that my future-in-laws have stuck to the rules as were applied to them when they had children and also what frankly my future wife and I have encountered at 90% of the weddings we have attended. I of course would like to be flexible but the inlaws are not bending on this rule which i respect as being their right no matter how a feel about it.

This though has really upset my ushers wife as it would preclude her attending the wedding as she is unable to leave her 4 month old baby with anyone so she can come along. I have spent about 45 mins talking to her explaining she is not the only one with this problem and I'm so sad that it can't be any other way but it appears to not have appeased her one bit. The result is she has told one of my closest friends that he can't go even though he is supposed to be ushing for me.

What i want to understand is is this a fair reaction because it will damage a relationship one way or the other?
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:14 AM
 
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Is it your wedding? You get the final say. What I have always did when I attended any special event with a "babe in arms" is sit in the back and rarely did mine start wailing full force with no warning. IF they started fussing I would just sneak out the back. I always tried to sit near the door in the back. Jack( ds4) is 7 months and I still sometimes slip out the back when he fusses.

I would drop it with your inlaws and talk to your friend and his wife tell them no matter WHAT they hear they have special permission to bring their baby. If your fried is the usher have him bring her in and seat her in the back nearest the door of her choice.

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Old 05-21-2009, 09:20 AM
 
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If it is your wedding, you and your intended need to make the decision. Your ILs can keep their own council, even if they are paying for it.

I personally, did not have any children of any age at my wedding. And I didn't invite anyone who had babies, so that wasn't an issue.

I personally would have loved an hour or two away from my DD1 when she was 4 months old, as she was a handful and always took it easy on the grandparents. So it would not be an issue for me, if I was in the usher's wife's shoes, to come without my baby for a little while.

Its YOUR wedding. You cannot possibly make everyone happy. So make yourself happy like everyone else does. They'll get over it. And if they don't, is that the kind of person you truly want to be close with in the end?

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Old 05-21-2009, 09:21 AM
 
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If it is your wedding then talk to your fiancee and change the rule. If she cannot stand up to her parents then there is other issues that you two have. Your relationship with her might be more damage by her inability to negotate and go against her parents wishes than you telling them no we are allowing baby/kids.

She is breaking/changing bonds and moving to being your partner. It is YOUR wedding just as much as her wedding. It is not their wedding.

I would battle this because boundries have to be set or they become a long standing problem.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:53 AM
 
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It is your wedding and it is up to you to decide.

That being said, if/when that has happened to me, I have declined to go and my husband has stood with me, it wouldn't matter if he was in the party or not, the relationship with his wife and child are more important than a friends wedding.

Though, I can see the reasoning of older children (though I don't agree), I don't see the reasoning for younger babies who don't walk, who sleep a lot and need their mothers for comfort and nursing.

oh... I see it is not even your rule... (if you are ok with children being there then then is up to you not you future IL's)

 
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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A 4 month old is so easy to take along, compared to a rambunctious toddler, or even a crawling 9 month old. It's also extremely difficult for a nursing mom to be away from a very young infant, even for a few hours.

When ds 2 was about that age, we took him with us to a funeral and to numerous meetings with lawyers, and it was no problem. We definitely had to make other arrangements for our 3 yo, though!

I guess I'm saying, think about your goal... is it to stick to the "rules," or is it to make sure the tone of the evening is elegant and adult-oriented? A babe-in-arms is really no detriment to that, particularly if it's the child of a close friend. After all, do you want to look at those pictures years from now and remember that he couldn't come because he was a new dad?

I guess I definitely have a "side" to take on this issue, but in the end the decision is absolutely yours and your fiancee's. Good luck and best wishes!

ETA: I just noticed that this is your first post. I think it's a beautiful thing that you posted this here!:

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Old 05-21-2009, 12:14 PM
 
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You're within reason to say that there will be no babies at your wedding, and if you say that (and I agree, it is totally up to *you and your fiancee* to say that, not your in-laws), it is within reason for your friend with the four month-old baby to stay home with his wife.

This is someone you asked to usher for you, so I presume that you're close. So I would recommend that you make room for his baby. Tell your in-laws that this guy has always been there for you, that you understand his situation, and that you can make room for *one* baby. It's about friendship.

It was considerably more challenging to accommodate elderly family (who couldn't hear well or climb stairs) at my wedding, and to accommodate dear friends and family members with dietary restrictions than it was to make the party a pleasant time for children as well as their parents. One or two balloons on the dance floor, some crayons at the kids table... and really little babies like this one don't even need that.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:08 PM
 
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I think you are being very fair!
I brought my 6 month old to an elegant wedding in December and things went fine, but babies do attract attention naturally and evening black tie weddings are meant for adults really, ,, just the way it is.It's different at a beach reception or something.

I will say that I was prepared to just stay back at the hotel while my husband attended if the couple had preferred no babies. I had a nursing baby and did not want to leave her with a sitter but would not expect my husband to stay back too.
Have a lovely wedding (it's worth it to try to make every guest happy but you can only do so much sometimes)
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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Of course it is your decision since it's your wedding!

I think she's overreacting a bit by telling her husband (your usher) he can't attend b/c she can't go (and by can't I mean isn't willing to leave her 4 month old w/someone else).

I personally wouldn't have left my 4 month old nursling w/a babysitter, either. I would have politely declined going but let my husband go regardless.

I also think that allowing a 4 month old nursling to come is MUCH DIFFERENT than allowing a 3 year old or any other older child. Babies that age are portable and not disruptive. I agree with the PP who said that if you're close enough to this couple that you've included the husband in your wedding party, then you should/could make an exception for his new child. JMO.

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Old 05-21-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
This is someone you asked to usher for you, so I presume that you're close. So I would recommend that you make room for his baby. Tell your in-laws that this guy has always been there for you, that you understand his situation, and that you can make room for *one* baby. It's about friendship.
:

I also agree that if you are willing to set the precedent of your in-laws making rules that affect your friendships in such a negative way without standing up to them, you are going to have a life long battle on your hands. I've been there for 10 years now...no end in sight. Trust me, it's better to stand firm in the beginning than to try to regain ground you've lost!! I don't think you should make a big deal out of this, but I do think, if you want your friend to ush for you, it is completely within your realm of authority as the GROOM in this wedding to tell your friend that his wife and baby are welcome to come to your wedding.

Personally, I think that relationships are one of the most important things in our lives and I believe when a wedding destroys relationships, the priorities are mixed-up. A wedding is an event...something that will be over in an hour or so...a friendship is something that is for the rest of your life. Maybe the wife is being a bit overzealous, but are you going to put your event over the relationship that precipitated you asking this guy to be an usher at your wedding?

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Old 05-21-2009, 01:50 PM
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your wedding your decision!

All the weddings I have attended had children and I feel like they were the life of the party. Everyone made sure the children didnt interup the ceremony, they came for the after party, but would leave early so the older crowd could have a bit more fun. also the older kids tended to look out for the younger ones a great deal.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:08 PM
 
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Is there no flower girl or ring bearer?! I've never heard of a wedding without a flower girl and ring bearer (cept in vegas, lol). So true that weddings are much more fun with kids around. They provide the comic relief! I personally would never tell someone that they couldn't bring their kid. And, it sounds like your in laws are kinda stuck up. I really have never heard of a wedding where kids were not invited. You'd think they never had kids! : Me, i'm just so rebellious that if my inlaws said no kids, i'd probably mumble some profanities at them. lol. And then i'd do it my own way. Since when do parents have any control over their adult children? Your wife should grow a pair and stand up to her parents, lol. I can't believe she'd actually listen to them!

Oh, and if I were in the usher's situation, i'd boycott the wedding too, and probably get just as many people as I could to boycott the wedding. Not a good situation if you ask me!

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Old 05-21-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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Moving to Parenting since this is more a general issue than one of parenting an infant.

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Old 05-21-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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I agree that you and your future wife should get to decide, NOT the in-laws. However if you choose not to have children/babies at the wedding that is perfectly reasonable in my opinion. We did not have this rule at our wedding but I was glad that no one attending had/brought little ones. If you want to make the exception for her that is fine, but if there are others with children that were not allowed to bring them then be prepared for some to get upset when they see the baby.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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You're within reason to say that there will be no babies at your wedding, and if you say that (and I agree, it is totally up to *you and your fiancee* to say that, not your in-laws), it is within reason for your friend with the four month-old baby to stay home with his wife.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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We had a no children rule at our wedding. I actually would have preferred to have kids there, but due to space limitations and the lack of control that some of our relatives have over their children (the wedding was on an acreage with a pond, barn, animals and other potential hazards) we made the decision not to allow children. However, we made an exception for nursing babies. This seemed to work fairly well for everyone.

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Old 05-21-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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Of course it is your decision since it's your wedding!

I think she's overreacting a bit by telling her husband (your usher) he can't attend b/c she can't go (and by can't I mean isn't willing to leave her 4 month old w/someone else).

I personally wouldn't have left my 4 month old nursling w/a babysitter, either. I would have politely declined going but let my husband go regardless.

I also think that allowing a 4 month old nursling to come is MUCH DIFFERENT than allowing a 3 year old or any other older child. Babies that age are portable and not disruptive. I agree with the PP who said that if you're close enough to this couple that you've included the husband in your wedding party, then you should/could make an exception for his new child. JMO.
I have to provide a counterpoint on saying that the mother of the 4mo old is overreacting. For example, if the wedding is not in their town and they have to travel to get there it could be burden for the husband to go alone or for the mom to go and sit in the hotel. There are plenty of reasons for her to not want her husband to go.

Just as it is YOUR choice to have no children there, it is THEIR choice (her and her husband) not to attend. As they respect your choice, you should respect theirs.

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Old 05-21-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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I think it is your decision if you are paying for the wedding. If, however, your in-laws are paying for the wedding and issuing the invitations, then THEY are the hosts and get to choose. I would hope they would compromise with you, of course, but really, if you want to call the tune you also need to pay the piper.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:42 PM
 
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For the life of me I don't understand why you are giving your in-laws any say at all in a matter which should be entirely up to you. This does not bode well for your future with their daughter, imo.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:47 PM
 
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a wedding is a very special day and the choice is up to the couple. I personally did not want any children at my first wedding and would prefer none at my upcoming wedding. Although I have children and that is unrealistic.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:47 PM
 
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For the life of me I don't understand why you are giving your in-laws any say at all in a matter which should be entirely up to you. This does not bode well for your future with their daughter, imo.
If they are contributing, they have a say. Most likely they are paying most of or a lot of the costs.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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If they are contributing, they have a say. Most likely they are paying most of or a lot of the costs.
I am so glad my parents didn't have this attitude when I got married. That's a whole other etiquette question I guess- giving gifts with strings attached.

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Old 05-21-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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I'm not sure which/whose reaction you're asking about, so here's my take:

It's perfectly okay to have a child-free wedding.

However, babes-in-arms often cannot be left for hours with people other than the parents. Sometimes they can, but certainly not always.

So if you choose to have a child-free wedding, you need to graciously accept the fact that it means some people with children will not be able to attend.

Pressuring the mother and saying that other people have to abide by the same rules doesn't help. If my husband was asked to usher at a wedding and we couldn't bring a young pre-mobile baby, we would have to decline. It's just how it is. :
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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I am so glad my parents didn't have this attitude when I got married.
me too! LOL
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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If they are contributing, they have a say. Most likely they are paying most of or a lot of the costs.
They may have chosen to pay for it but still, doesn't the couple plan the wedding? Isn't it supposed to be their day?
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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What is your fiancee's feelings on the subject - is it possible that she would like a no kids wedding (which is absolutely fine and understandable) and is having her parents take the fall?
Are your future in laws financing this wedding - is it possible that cost is playing a part in the no kids invited rule? Some reception locations charge the same for toddlers as they do for adults.
Is it possible that they are inforcing the no kids rule so strictly because there are some invited with children who would pitch a fit if others were allowed to bring their kids and they were not?
There are so many reasons as to why they said what they did - the best route to take at this moment would be to discuss it with your fiancee first and see how things go from there.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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I think it works like this. If parents decide to pay for a wedding, it's a gift from them. Most parents (I think) like to work with the couple to give them the day that they want, obviously within budget contraints of course. Some may choose to do things their way. Since it's a gift, the couple cannot "make" the giver give them what they want - but they can of course decline the gift gracefully.

I could be wrong, but I think that's how it works. Again, I think most people are reasonable and if they are in a position to gift a wedding, they usually like to do what the couple wants (with possibly some discussion on some points).

If they are really digging in their heels about this, that's an awkward situation and an unfortunate one. It would make me be very careful of my inlaws in the future.

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Old 05-21-2009, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. I think i should be a little clearer that this wedding is in england and will be governed by several rules of etiquette. This rule is very normal; as i said at least 90% of the weddings i go to have it. The rule is also not going to be bent no matter what happens. All the other guests are ok with it and as some have mentioned are happy for the excuse to get some time out. Another guest is also in the same boat and his wife has happily stayed at home to let the husband come along. The problem is my Ushers wife has taken complete exception to this and is banning my great friend from attending. So do i just accept that he can't come??
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:20 PM
 
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. I think i should be a little clearer that this wedding is in england and will be governed by several rules of etiquette. This rule is very normal; as i said at least 90% of the weddings i go to have it. The rule is also not going to be bent no matter what happens. All the other guests are ok with it and as some have mentioned are happy for the excuse to get some time out. Another guest is also in the same boat and his wife has happily stayed at home to let the husband come along. The problem is my Ushers wife has taken complete exception to this and is banning my great friend from attending. So do i just accept that he can't come??
Yep, you accept it. You have the right to make/keep the rule and he has the right not to come.

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